Preview: The ninth annual Francophone Film Festival

Madison Watkins, Staff Writer

Film still from “La Grande Vadrouille

With February at Armstrong, comes the annual Francophone Film Festival. Presented by the Armstrong French Club, it showcases French Culture and language for the student body. 2017 will mark the festival’s ninth year. Festivities begin this weekend in the from Feb. 16-18 in the Ogeechee Theater.

A ceremony and reception will be held this Thursday, Feb. 16, at 6:30 p.m. before the films begin. The first film of the festival, “La Grande Vadrouille,” (1966) will be shown at 8 p.m. The film is a French classic comedy about two Royal Air Force (RAF) pilots in World War II trying to escape German-occupied France.

Friday will feature the comedies “Les vacances de M. Hulot” (1953) and “Bon Cop, Bad Cop” (2006). The first film is about a man named Monsieur Hulot who goes on vacation, but everything he does causes trouble for those around him. “Bon Cop, Bad Cop” is about two adverse cops from Quebec and Ontario who must work together when a body is discovered on the border of the two cities.

Saturday will feature two coming-of-age films, “Daratt- Dry Season” (2006) and “Elza” (2011). “Daratt- Dry Season” is about a teenage boy out to kill the man who murdered his father. “Elza” is the story of a young woman who returns to her native Caribbean island after college to find the father she’s never known.

These two films in particular did not come originate in France but rather the French-speaking countries of Chad and the Caribbean, which displays even more of what the Francophone world has to offer.

Dr. Dorothée Mertz-Weigel, director of international education and professor of French, chose these films with the French Club because of their diversity.

“Classic and modern, comic and serious, historical and fictional, and French and Francophone are all different themes developed in each of these films,” Mertz explained. “They are all very unique and have won many awards.”

Mertz is also thrilled about how successful the festival has been for the past nine years, “The festival keeps growing every year and now it seems to be expected every February at Armstrong and in the Savannah community. We have kept it free and open to the public for all these years, and I think that it’s a feature many people appreciate.”

Junior political science major and French Club president, Emily Randall, agreed. She encourages students to get involved with different clubs on campus like she did.

“It is so important to focus on all French-speaking countries and cultures, not just France… French Club made me get really interested in international affairs in general, and I have enjoyed pairing up with the other international clubs that Armstrong has to offer,” Randall said.

The Armstrong French Club will host the ninth annual film festival from Feb. 16-19 from 6- 10 p.m. in the Ogeechee theatre. Both student and public admission are free.